Bonfire Of The Valkyries | New Albanian Brewing Company - Pizzeria and Public House

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Bonfire Of The ValkyriesBonfire Of The Valkyries

Brewed by:
New Albanian Brewing Company - Pizzeria and Public House
Indiana, United States

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
20 IBU

Added by merlin48 on 12-30-2006

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 58
Photo of alleykatking
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 64oz growler. Thanks to Lukafer for picking this one up.

A- Pours a blackish brown color. One finger tan head shows medium retention. Nice long streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Roasted malts right off the get go with this beer. Some light sweetness to this as well maybe some chocolate notes causes this? Smokey aroma takes over the rest of the beer from the middle on. This aroma is very inviting.

T- Roasted malts blend with a light smokeed flavor. Toward the middle of the beer there is a light coffee hint but this comes quickly as the smoked malts come back into play. Ending of the beer has light chocolate hints to this with a ton of smoke on the ending of the beer. This stuff tastes amazing to be honest.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Smoked flavor with some roasted malts are left on the palate. Aftertaste is almost all smoke and hints of chocolate. Flavors are mostly smoke forward and balance toward that...some people might find this annoying but I personally can't get enough of it. No off flavors are detected. Medium alcohol drying on the palate.

D- This beer was mighty drinkable. I personally enjoy heavy smoked beers which this one leaned more toward being heavy in the smoke taste. The ABV makes this one enjoyable while drinking. I had many glasses of this but I know some of the other guys didn't like this one very much.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.36/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a stange. Big thanks to khumbard for this.

3.25 A: Black color. Aggressive pour gave two fingers of fizzy medium brown head that quickly fell.

4.0 S: The nose is just what I want in a rauchbier - smoky. Big roasted porcine smokiness with campfire undertones. There doesn't seem to be much of the lager coming through past the smoke aside from some roastiness, but that's fine, it smells great.

4.5 T: The taste is even better than the nose. It maintains the same smoke pork smokiness along with campfire, but is balanced by a sweetness - a woody sweetness - that you might get from burning certain species of trees. It's like a dark, roasty caramel. However you describe it, it works. A lot of smoked beers are a taste bud tease in that they smell super smoky, but don't taste super smoky. This isn't one of them. The smoke is deep and complex. With the sweet maltiness balancing, I can't seem to find any problems. Very nice.

4.5 M: Medium body. Carbonation isn't very active, but there's enough of it. Silky smooth creaminess that enhances the taste. Goes down far too easy for a beer this big. Great here as well.

4.75 D: Very solid rauchbier. Plenty of flavor with depth and complexity and a killer mouthfeel. Both the taste and mouthfeel were borderline 4.75, so I put it here instead.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at the Tomlinson Tap Room in Indy. Appearance was totally black, with not much carbonation and very little, tan colored head. Aroma is not very strong, but smells of roasted malt primarily with some sweetness and a faint hint of smoke. The flavor is great, with smooth maltiness, roasted coffee and chocolate lightly blending with a touch of smoke. Very smooth and drinkable. Medium to full bodied. A very nice beer.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smoked beers are something I would usually go to last. But, might as well try something I wouldn't regularly get a chance to.

When the bottle foamed out of the top just a wee little bit and it was über foam on the pour, I was concerned. Apparently without warrant. This is an outstanding rauch. Mild smoked tones keep things at what I want to say is a perfect tone. This can so easily go obnoxious. This is a real pleasure to drink. Don't want to write about it; just want to enjoy drinking it.

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Photo of JamesS
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice deep black color with excellent head and some nice lacing. Nice deep scent with good sweet malts and a wonderful smoky undertone. Excellent taste, a very nice crisp and clean lager with nice roasted grain tones and a very nice smoky taste (smoked beers aren't my favorite, but this one was nice, without going overboard). Went down very smooth.

(Had on tap at Barley Island Broad Ripple as a guest beer.)

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into dimpled mug.
This was sent as part of a box by Khumbard-- thanks man!

Dark oily body with a deep tan head of half a finger. The bubbles settled very quickly to a thin collar. Nice oily legs, and there is some spotty lacing that clings momentarily.

Smells VERY smoky. Like sizzling bacon and charred wood. I get a light hint of cocoa underneath all that smoke.
This is like smoked pork mania. Even kinda salty. A coffee like bitterness comes through on the finish.

Feels medium bodied with an oily slickness.

Overall-- a solid smoked beer. Very smokey. Very porky. Very enjoyable, if you're into that sort of thing... And I am.
If you like smoked beers, this is a must-try.

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Photo of aasher
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First off, I love this label!

Bonfire of the Valkyries pours a medium bodied, smooth and creamy black in color looking all the part of a Schwarzbier. It has a nice beige lacing around the glass. The nose is slightly smoky with some ham and salt before finishes smooth, chocolaty, and creamy. The smoke isn't nearly as strong as I imagined it would be, but that's a good thing. There isn't much smoke in the flavors either, but it's there. It's smooth and creamy dark chocolate with a light hammy finish. It's like a slightly smoked version of Sprecher's Black Bavarian. The body is near identical, light and very, very smooth and creamy. Overall this was a really nice beer. I'd definitely say it's a schwarzbier that's slightly smoked, and not necessarily a rauchbier. It's a nice alternative if you don't want to get smoked out by Aecht Schlenkerla.

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Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial pints for $4.50 at the brewery… damn good deal for an 8%.

A – Appears almost black. Fair amount of lacing on the glass, but there was little to no head.

S – Roasted malts overpower at first, but then there is some complexity of sweet earthy aroma mixed with a bit of smoke. The smell takes my worries away about this being too smoky.

T – Chocolate malts and a nice amount of smoke. I tried this (even though I’m not a fan of smoked beer) because I heard good things about it. I got a slight espresso profile in the middle, which is probably my interpretation of smoky coffee. I’m really glad the smoke is not overpowering, and in my opinion, this is a great intro beer for a smoked style brew.

M – The feel is better than the appearance. I thought it was going to feel thin, but it was heavier than I expected. I would still classify it at a low medium. For 8%, the alcohol is not really present.

O – Much better than I expected, and very easy to drink. I am glad the smoke was not overpowering. Quite drinkable and I might go back and get a bomber of this brew. This is probably one of my favorites from NABC; the risk paid off this time.

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Photo of liamt07
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from DeLoch's in Indiana, 650ml bottle into a tulip.

Black body with not even a finger of medium brown head even with an extra aggressive pour. Nose has a tad of campfire smoke, brown sugar, toasty malts, chocolate and some sweeter caramel/marshmallow qualities. Tate has more chocolate and smokey sweetness, mild roast and a sweet malt quality well into the finish. Smoke as an accent there really. Medium heavy feel, low carbonation which although I thought would've been detrimental to the mouthfeel actually aided the beer. Smokey and on the sweeter side, something I definitely dig.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle (absolutely love the label!)

A: jet black, opaque with a very full/dense head that is light brown
S: chewy malt, medium nose, some roasted qualities come through but no discernible rauch
T: deep roasted malt with chocolate qualities, well-balanced with hops taking a backseat to the rich roasted malt, some smokiness but was expecting a lot more
M: full, rich mouthfeel, chocolatey, with some earthy malt, slight cloying finish
O: reminded me a bit of a Baltic porter, very nice

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Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Rich-O's Publick House as part of the Saturnalia Fest. Bonfire arrived dark and opaque in the glass, topped by a small, but creamy, light brown head. Sheet lacing is left behind on the glass as it empties. Aroma is wood smoke, minimal spicy hops, and cocoa and espresso notes. Creamy medium body. Taste is smoky, but not overdone. Nice edge of bitter hops to compliment the slightly roasty tones of mild coffee and light milk chocolate. A very enjoyable version of the style.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a mug, the beer pours a very dark brown with a huge carbonated dark tan head. Once the head settled down some, a slow pour helped keep the carbonation down some when pouring the rest of the bottle into the glass. Head retention is good, and there's also a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is very nice, it smells like smoked malts (and meats), roasted/charred malt, bittersweet chocolate, caramel and coffee. It tastes like smoked malt/meat, roasted/charred malt, coffee and some bittersweet chocolate. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy, but has way too much carbonation. Even though the carbonation did settle down some while I was drinking it, it was still a bit too much for me in the end. Overall I thought this was a good brew, I'll try this again in the future and hope that the carbonation in the next bottle isn't as strong as this one was. $7.99 a bottle.

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Photo of Cresant
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this undated 22 oz. bottle into an etched tulip pint glass. The very dark brown/black body supported a modest tan head that receded to a film.

The smell is primarily smoked grains. A bit vegetal, but inviting. It smells like stepping into a BBQ restaurant - sweet and smoky. Faintly reminiscent of peppercorns and campfires.

The texture of this beer is creamier than I expected from a lager, however, this is a big lager. Medium to full bodied with adequate carbonation, smooth in the mouth.

The taste reflects the aroma. Restrained smoke with a welcome snap of lager crispness. The smoke is definitely the main character in this beer, but it does not assault you. The middle is a bit sweet but it finishes with a light, roasted grain bitterness. The IBUs are low at 20. There are some dark sweet chocolate notes as well as a light nuttiness. Very well hidden alcohol - this one weighs in at a hefty 8% ABV, but it is difficult to taste it here.

I suspect this beer is homage to Roger Baylor’s well-known love of smoked Franconian rauchbiers. I find this to be a well-balanced and easily drinkable smoked beer. It is so drinkable that it would be easy to gloss over the subtle, yet present, layers of this enjoyable beer. I am confident this would pair well with anything from your grill or smoker this summer.

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Photo of bgreg3
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid schwarzbier. It's pitch black in appearance and smells of roast coffee and chocolate. The foam lacing doesn't stick for too long. The taste is very similar to the smell. Black malt must have been a key ingredient. Some vanilla lingers in the back with a possibility of liquid smoke! easy to drink, not too sticky.

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Photo of Lukafer
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown/black with a finger of tan head.  Smells roasty, a little smoky and a hint of sweet malt.  Tastes some roasted malts, hints of chocolate, some smokyness and coffee, but really balanced.  Slightly drying finish, but a good mouthfeel and drinkable. One of the better beers I've had in this style.

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Photo of RickS95
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If you poured dirty, abused oil in a glass and set it next to this, you'd not be able to tell the difference. Complete absence of light, absolute darkness. The head, what little there is, is brown and thin with almost no retention. A better head and this is the perfect looking beer.

I'm digging the smell. Lots of smoke, a bit of caramel. It actually smells a little like bacon and who doesn't like bacon.

Falls a bit flat in the taste as it's got a wateriness to it. No sharp flavors, it's like everything has been muted with water. Still, the smoke comes through and dominates, leaving only the maltiness for flavor.

Too watery for my liking, but it is a lager so it's somewhat expected. Very smoky, no crispness, though the finish is a bit tart and slightly dry. Some acid in the swallow.

Overall it's not bad. I appreciate the highish ABV, but could do without the watery feel. Really an attractive looking and smelling beer, just loses it a bit after that.

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Photo of haddon
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on-tap at Country Boy Brewery tap room

served a very dark brown with a slight off-tan head that didn't hang around long. moderate lacing down the glass

Aroma is just OK. it smells of roasted malts that gives a charred campfire note. also bittersweet chocolate, caramel and coffee.

It tastes like it smells... campfire aromas- smoked malt/meat, charred coffee bean and dark chocolate.

feel is medium, but still a bit light/watery for a Rauchbier. believe the creaminess would shine through if there was a little less carbonation

I enjoyed this beer but didn't love it. I like the smoked notes but it needs to be a bit richer to add complexity. overall, still comes across a bit watery.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not retired evidently, since I tasted this on 4/8 at the brewpub in New Albany.
Served cold in a tulip pint

A - An opaque deep brown almost black w/ faint hints of light brown showing through w/ quickly dropping medium shade of tan to about a ring w/ a very tight bead.

S - Deep notes of plum and dark grain w/ a subtle yeast aroma and hints of roasted/smoked malt w/ a deep molasses/anise hint

M - Like a sweet stout w/ character- the dry textures are complimented well by fruity textures and sweet malt w/ a candy sugar-like feel that is pleasant and finishes on the dry side.

T - This is like an amped up version of the dark mild's malt w/ conesmoker's rauchbier character. The blend is nice, but the sweetness is a tad on the cloying side after mid-pint. The flavor is lacking in the way of bitterness and has rich sweet and fruity tastes like dark fruit in sugar w/ a dash of smoke.

D - Not my fave of the ales offered at NABC, but still drinkable and better than average IMO. A big smokey ale that can get to be a bit much if you have more than a pint of smoked ale. I consider this quaffable and would be a nice complement to and smoked cheese or meat assortment

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Photo of barczar
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep opaque brown with garnet highlights and minimal cream head that evacuates immediately.

Smoky bacon dominates the aroma, with hints of cola sweetness offering respite. There's a slight vegetal character that isn't offputting.

Flavor is more complex, though smoke dominated. The malt sweetness is more pronounced, almost cola-like flavors lead up to bacon and a somewhat bitter finish. As usual, there's plastic phenol present, but the sweet malt helps disguise it. Perfumy hops surface as it warms, finished with tar.

Body is moderate to slightly heavy with minimal carbonation. It's almost cereal-like.

Overall, one of the more sweet offerings I've had in this style. Drinkable in small quantities. Almost tastes flat.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an oily black with little to no head, although a small ring of lace is present.

S: The aroma of smoked malt is front and center here. As the beer settles in the glass, scents of charcoal, bitter chocolate, caramel, and coffee gradually emerge.

T: The entry is predictably smoky with intense roasted grain and charcoal flavors. Notes of caramel, roasted nuts, minerals, bitter chocolate, coffee, and earthy, herbal hops quickly follow. The finish is clipped and chewy with notes of charcoal, roasted grain, and coffee underscored by a medicinal hop bitterness.

M: Medium-to-full in body, thick, and dry. Carbonation is prickly and active. Alcohol presence is very restrained.

O: After being underwhelmed by New Albanian's Baltic porter, this smoked black lager kind of surprised me. It's not the best rauchbier I've ever had, but it is interesting and quite drinkable. I still think New Albanian's strength lies in their strong ales, but I wouldn't mind picking this lager up again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Travlr. Thanks Gene!

Really cool name for a beer. The beer is black with a small brown head. The aroma brings some lager scents, roast, smoke. The flavor lacks cohesion. I love the idea of combining the attributes of a black lager and a smoke beer, but this marriage just doesn't make it. Slightly sweet, with some chocolate and smoke notes. Medium bodied with adequate carbonation. Overall, this was ok.

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Photo of karengarys
2.93/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I will be re-reviewing this once I learn more about rauchbiers, but I wanted to take my notes while I had glass in hand.

pours opaque black, little fizz with my slow pour.

Smoke beer. Yep, smokey all right.

Smells like I'm emptying the word burning stove at the cabins I stay in... Smokey. Wet. Not sure what else is there, but there is something.

Tastes, like, well, I'm drinking the ash bucket of said wood burning stove. Like, quite a bit. I expected more beer with hints of smoke, but this is really smokey stuff with hints of beer. A bit of malteyness comes through. Sort of sweet-ish I guess. And some dryness in some hop thing going on. But, really, it is like a fizzy smoke drink.

Mouthfeel is not bad. I started it rated much lower, but as it warms it is keeping some fizziness. A little flat I guess...

It does have some body to it. At least it isn't thin and watery. It is thick... and smokey... I do like that...

Overalll, this has piqued my interest in what this stuff is supposed to taste like. I've had a few that were beers with nice hints of smoke. I'll come back and re-review if I learn this is just the style...

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Photo of ThickNStout
2.82/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

22oz bottle from zrab11 (cool extra, thanks!). No apparent bottling info. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours black with a quick fading mocha head. No head retention and zero lace.

Smells smokey. Very smokey. Smoked peaty malt, bacon and burnt caramel.

The peat/smoke is persistent throughout the tasting. Other notes include muted caramel, faint chocolate, toast and earthy nuts. No real alcohol bite.

Medium thin feel with faint carbonation. Charred malt finish.

Something I'd never buy but was an interesting extra. The flavors, while smokey, seemed muted and the body was a bit thin. Happy to have tried it but once was enough for me.

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Bonfire Of The Valkyries from New Albanian Brewing Company - Pizzeria and Public House
3.82 out of 5 based on 58 ratings.
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